Contributor: Alex Smith
During the winter months, it can be challenging to metabolism high and avoid packing on the pounds. Indulging in comfort foods, enjoying larger portion sizes, and a reduction in exercising can impact your waistline. However, there are some foods that you can easily add to your diet which naturally give your metabolism a boost.
Why Does Metabolism Slow In Winter?
When the frost is nipping at our nose as the temperatures plunge and snow makes its appearance, the desire to eat heartier meals and give in to frequent snacking also show up. Spending more time outdoors in the cold and shivering will help naturally boost metabolism. However, typically most of us huddle inside for warmth and enjoying gathering around a table replete with carb-heavy meals.
Metabolism also tends to slow during the wintertime because of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. When feeling a bit sad and blue, people tend to eat emotionally. And often, anyone feeling the winter blues is apt to grab something fattening, carbohydrate-laden, and pleasurable for the palate.
When it’s difficult getting enough sunlight because of the season, vitamin D deficiency can occur, and serotonin levels can drop. It is essential to find healthy outlets to boost morale and lift the spirits to reduce overeating, especially when experiencing sluggish metabolism.
What Foods Can I Eat?
Everyone has slightly different metabolic levels based on genetics and lifestyle. However, there are foods that you can add to your plate to naturally give your metabolism a welcome boost.
Make sure not to skip out on breakfast to keep your body better fueled through the day. If you enjoy eating porridge in the morning, feel free to add flaxseed to your bowl. Flaxseed is beneficial to your health because it contains omega-3, improves blood sugar levels, and stimulates thermogenesis to burn fat.
If you are not keen on adding flaxseed to a dish, you can get the same healthful benefits taking flaxseed oil. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil provides a rich source of plant-based dietary fiber.
Eating whole grains is a great way to stave off hunger, reduce overeating, and improve your digestion. Choose from oats, quinoa, or brown rice to speed up metabolism.
Don’t forget to add a plant-based or animal-based (if you’re not vegan or vegetarian) protein to your meals. Eating eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes require that your body uses more energy to digest. According to sources like Healthline, consuming protein can increase metabolic rate by 15 to 30 percent.
Also, don’t miss out on adding color and flavor to dishes that can handle some heat. Adding chili peppers may help bolster your metabolism because of capsaicin. Ginger and cayenne pepper may also prove useful in increasing metabolism when added to meals.
What Supplements Naturally Improve Metabolism?
The health of your thyroid gland plays a role in your metabolism. Make an effort to consume supplements containing zinc, selenium, and iron to improve thyroid function and regulate your metabolism.
Caffeine may be a metabolism boosting aid for some, but other people swear by the results they get drinking tea. In addition to having a cup breakfast tea, choose a cup of oolong or green tea to warm up in the winter, and help burn off fat. Tea is also beneficial for metabolism because it contains catechins, which stimulate cell activity and require energy consumption.
If you find it too hot to handle adding chili peppers to your food, you can choose to take a supplement of capsaicin instead.
Last but not least, make sure to take enough B vitamins, which may be useful for weight loss. The vitamin B6 helps the body produce an amino acid that aids the body’s use of fat for energy.
How Else Can I Stay Healthy And Fit During Winter?
When the days grow shorter and colder, and you would rather spend the day inside than brave the cold for a run or walk, find ways to stay healthy and fit.
Remember to eat a varied diet of fiber rich whole grains, fruits, and proteins. Make time to exercise, even if it is low-impact and indoors. And don’t forget to enjoy drinking hot chocolate, tea, and consuming various sources of nutrients and vitamins that boost your metabolism.